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Market Avenue in Ohio City to permanently close starting Friday

The next step on the city's agenda is to eventually add seating area and tables to welcome more festivals and watch parties as the Browns kick off.
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Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 01, 2023

OHIO CITY, Ohio — News 5 is following through on a story we first told you about nearly four years ago.

It deals with a popular street in Ohio City where local businesses have been pushing to permanently close.

We don’t just report the initial story—we follow through to its conclusion. Read and watch our previous reporting on this story below and see more stories that we've followed through on here.

Those in the area say they’re happy their pleas are finally being heard after a long time coming.

“This is something that we've been hoping for, and we're very excited about,” said Brand Great Lakes Brewing Company Marketing Manager Marissa DeSantis.

While Market Avenue in Ohio City is small in nature, businesses there say the area can get pretty intense on its busy days.

“It can get really crazy, and on the weekends, there's a lot of people moving around,” said Pearl Street Wine Co-owner Karen Small.

That's why owners like Karen Small, who advocated to permanently close the street for years, say they're pleased Cleveland leaders have reached an agreement to shut Market Avenue down to drivers starting Friday.

“It's not been permanent until now, and that's what we've really been advocating for was a permanent closure to kind of make this into more of a European style park lit,” Small said.

Like Small, DeSantis said she's excited to see how this change will transform the area.

“I think the more walkable a neighborhood is, the more people are open to popping into and exploring new places, taking their time, not being disrupted by traffic, feeling safe, so I think it's going to be a really good thing for the businesses on our street,” DeSantis said.

We first reported on the three-month experiment to turn Market Avenue into a pedestrian - only area back in 2019.

At the time, Ohio City Incorporated told News 5 that most of their feedback had been positive.

But when we spoke to Koffie Café nearly four years ago—the owner told us he wasn't a fan, so we revisited the shop on Thursday to learn their thoughts about this week's news, and workers told us the business is under new ownership.

The next step on the city's agenda is to eventually add seating areas and tables to welcome more festivals and watch parties as the Browns kick-off.

The city is also considering making this area a designated outdoor refreshment area one day in the future.

Before this happens, Katy Baumbach with Ohio City Incorporated says they want to work with the community to make sure it's done properly.

“There's still a lot of work around that, especially in a neighborhood like Ohio City where we want to make sure it Is good for the community as well as the small businesses,” Baumbach said.

“We're excited for this, and we're excited for what comes next,” DeSantis said.

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